Study Guide

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Plot Analysis

By Ernest Hemingway

Plot Analysis

Maybe we're just being thick-headed, but dissecting "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" in terms of plot analysis just looks flat-out impossible to us. The kicker is, the story is nothing but a sequence of situations – we don't ever get any kind of action, nor do we really "learn" about the motivations of all of our characters in depth. We're not sure what they're looking for or hoping to accomplish, and the best we can do is come up with our own reasons for why they are how they are. Hemingway leaves us wondering a lot at the end of the story, but doesn't come out and resolve anything for us.